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churning the butter


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Well, the fact that you realize what you're doing wrong is a good first step. Practice will help, other than that just keep telling yourself not to wiggle the stick so much. Brace your forearm on your leg to help steady your arm if you aren't already. If all else fails, you can always turn on a bit of cyclic friction to help make all your movements more deliberate.

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I catch myself doing that if I get nervous, typically on a hairy approach or something. Just remember to breathe and remind yourself that by not moving the cyclic, you make it much easier on yourself.

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Cryesis,

 

You need to be comfortable in a seated flying position. Many pilots do not realize that you can move your feet side to side on the pedals and that in turn adjusts the positions of your legs to make a good mount with your arm/wrist. From this position hold the cyclic with your finger tips and not in the palm of your hand. Think pressures and not movements and eventually you will not have to think about the pressures but rather you will visualize what is happening in the flight path and a synthesis between your brain and finger tips will take place to fly the aircraft as you wish.

 

The smoother & steadier I want to be the less I touch the cyclic.

 

Also, like others have said "Relax".

 

Best wishes,

 

Mike

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What helped me was looking further away at a fixed object, and actually talking to my instructor. While hovering, my instructor would quiz me on aerodynamics and I'd run through the definitions. Made me not think so much about hovering which helped me not over correct. Plus one on not holding the cyclic in the palm of your hand. When I started just holding it with my finger tips, I was able to be much smoother in everything.

 

Plus it just takes practice. At only 22hrs I can "feel" what the helo is doing, and can make minor small cyclic movements and hover quit well now.

Edited by superstallion6113
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It's really easy, you make your input to stop your momentum in whatever direction, then when you are halfway to where you want to be, you cut that cyclic movement in half and bring it back halfway in the opposite direction. You have just neutralized your initial control input and you should be about dead on. Keep in mind, these things take a second to respond due to the pendular relationship between the body and the rotor system. Make your input, then reduce it by half. Try that for starters and make fine adjustments as you get better.

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Hard to explain how what I do to resolve the issue when I notice that I'm doing this. I "become" the aircraft, focusing on what I (the helicopter) need to do to behave in exactly the way I want, and absolutely no more control than required to develop a trend in that direction. Usually, a slow but timely resolution is better than having to correct for over-controlling.

I concentrate on control pressure inputs rather than control movements and try to anticipate results, when I get "there", plan the smooth transition to the next state. Looking for the particular aircraft attitude that achieves the target and adjusting back to it as smoothly as possible...

 

Yeah, "the hover button" or a zen version of it, I guess.

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I've been a pilot for a while now, and not too long ago while flying a 300 (I usually fly a 22) the cfi said I was "churning the butter". He also said that it was common for 22 pilots. I thought to myself, if that's what he was focusing on during our flight, I must be doing everything else pretty well!

 

If you're able to keep it in a good, stable hover, who gives a crap how much your right hand is moving! You should have seen my right hand move the first time my cfi turned off the hydraulics in a hover in the 44!

 

Smoothness and finess will come over time, don't sweat it!

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I had that problem at the beginning while hover taxiing back to the parking ramp after long XC flights in an S300 in good winds from varying degrees with mechanical turbulence from all the T-Shelters along the taxiways. (pls pardon my run-on sentence) It was a pedal dance and a stick stir the whole way. It was hot and I was tired after a 2+ hour XC and suffered from rock butt in a hard seat with a full bladder from that mornings coffee. You get the picture.

 

My instructor, a Vietnam Vet, bless his heart, says to me, "Let IT fly, relax, keep it in line with pressures and just let it fly." The light bulb lit in my head. My death grip relaxed from my fisted palm into my fingertips. Let the rotor disc fly, let the cabin go along for the ride. LET IT FLY, make pressure input to coax it to where you need it to go. Once you begin to experience the rotor disc SMOOTHLY gliding during descents, the same 'LET' pressures apply. You're ultimately controlling the rotor disc as IT flies. . . let it fly. It's different way of thinking of it, but I think more proper way. I emphasize, Let it fly. I hope this helps.

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I had that problem at the beginning while hover taxiing back to the parking ramp after long XC flights in an S300 in good winds from varying degrees with mechanical turbulence from all the T-Shelters along the taxiways. (pls pardon my run-on sentence) It was a pedal dance and a stick stir the whole way. It was hot and I was tired after a 2+ hour XC and suffered from rock butt in a hard seat with a full bladder from that mornings coffee. You get the picture.

 

My instructor, a Vietnam Vet, bless his heart, says to me, "Let IT fly, relax, keep it in line with pressures and just let it fly." The light bulb lit in my head. My death grip relaxed from my fisted palm into my fingertips. Let the rotor disc fly, let the cabin go along for the ride. LET IT FLY, make pressure input to coax it to where you need it to go. Once you begin to experience the rotor disc SMOOTHLY gliding during descents, the same 'LET' pressures apply. You're ultimately controlling the rotor disc as IT flies. . . let it fly. It's different way of thinking of it, but I think more proper way. I emphasize, Let it fly. I hope this helps.

 

That's the smooth way to fly. And I think that's a little more how I do it. Even in the 22. If it rocks and rolls a little bit, I just let it because I know it will swing back, like a pendulum. I went up with a different instructor from my usual one for a pre-check ride flight. He demonstrated a steep approach to a confined area, and man, let me tell you, his airspeed and altitude were LOCKED ON the entire manuever, but he was working that cyclic like he was trying to get some milk out of it! I tend to be a little more lax on my speeds and alts (within commercial standards of course) but I definitely fly smoother!

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I've been a pilot for a while now, and not too long ago while flying a 300 (I usually fly a 22) the cfi said I was "churning the butter". He also said that it was common for 22 pilots. I thought to myself, if that's what he was focusing on during our flight, I must be doing everything else pretty well!

 

If you're able to keep it in a good, stable hover, who gives a crap how much your right hand is moving! You should have seen my right hand move the first time my cfi turned off the hydraulics in a hover in the 44!

 

Smoothness and finess will come over time, don't sweat it!

 

Mostly, I'd agree with that, with the following potential exceptions: The PIC's not 'ahead of the aircraft' if you're doing this; and it's counterproductive if you're power limited or close to the limit.

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In the Army pipeline, we fly a 206BIII and then a OH58AC. Basically the same. So if you churn the butter your IP tries to get you to stop, to an extent.

 

I fly the OH58D now. First day we call the SCAS rodeo. All of those little corrective cyclic movements are now pronounced and counterproductive. Its funny as hell to watch newbies on their first or second day. Its like a bucking green bronco trying to rid itself of a pilot.

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That's the smooth way to fly. And I think that's a little more how I do it. Even in the 22. If it rocks and rolls a little bit, I just let it because I know it will swing back, like a pendulum. I went up with a different instructor from my usual one for a pre-check ride flight. He demonstrated a steep approach to a confined area, and man, let me tell you, his airspeed and altitude were LOCKED ON the entire manuever, but he was working that cyclic like he was trying to get some milk out of it! I tend to be a little more lax on my speeds and alts (within commercial standards of course) but I definitely fly smoother!

 

That all depends on what the goal is. If the goal is to demonstrate a maneuver, showing the proper sight picture, altitude targets, airspeed, etc, (or instrument approaches) then whatever inputs it takes to reach that goal is appropriate. If the goal is passenger comfort and a relaxing ride, then slight altitude or airspeed deviations would be ok. As long as the PIC is flying the helicopter and not letting the helicopter fly them :-)

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There is a center point for the cyclic for any given condition. You should be making inputs only to correct for translation, then position, then tip path. Every time you make a cyclic input you should strive to reset the cyclic position to your predetermined center, or your next projected center. If you do all that your centered cyclic left in that position will keep you either stationary, or stable in your current flight regime. That seems to work for me.

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There is a center point for the cyclic for any given condition. You should be making inputs only to correct for translation, then position, then tip path. Every time you make a cyclic input you should strive to reset the cyclic position to your predetermined center, or your next projected center. If you do all that your centered cyclic left in that position will keep you either stationary, or stable in your current flight regime. That seems to work for me.

Allow me to translate: Don't move the cyclic so much.

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If you're able to keep it in a good, stable hover, who gives a crap how much your right hand is moving! You should have seen my right hand move the first time my cfi turned off the hydraulics in a hover in the 44!

 

Smoothness and finess will come over time, don't sweat it!

 

I can't say I agree with all of that. At the end of the day as long as your CFI/Pax like what you do, you're fine, but the less you move the cyclic the easier time you'll have flying the aircraft. In more power-limited situations, the fewer pitch changes you make with the cyclic the more power you can devote to the collective.

 

I had a few situations giving rides this weekend where you just had to eek out every last available ounce of power to get clear of the obstacles. The difference between stirring the pot and having a nice, steady cyclic can mean maybe 1" of MAP that you can use to get out of a confined area, or a little more left pedal to get into the wind, or whatever you need.

 

Yes being smooth will come with time, but the more you strive to be smooth from the get-go, the easier everything else will be for you.

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Practice makes permanent, only perfect practice makes perfect. It is the same for any form of motor programing if you do not make an effort to improve you do not improve. That is not to say that I don't catch myself stirring the pot or dancing on the pedals from time to time but I definitely am glad when someone points it out to me for improvement.

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The whole key to hovering is maintaining a steady HEADING. Then hold a steady ATTITUDE.

With the attitude under control, worry about the height later - you will never hit the ground in the hover, because you will see it coming up towards you, and jerk up on the lever to end up at 50 feet.

 

First of all - make it point. You can never hover if your nose is wobbling around.

Then keep the attitude flat, and the nose in the right spot. Then fix the height.

 

Any drift is then fixed with a small amount of pressure against the direction of drift - do not think of it as "I need to make an attitude change" because it will be too big.

 

Once you can control the attitude, you can work on pressure to either start a movement (taxying) or stop a movement (hovering.)

 

To land, lower the lever 1 cm and WAIT for the effect to happen. It might take time, but it will happen. Then do it again, and wait, then do it again, and wait, then ... ooh, look at that, I am already on the ground. That was really smooth.

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Im definitely starting to get smoother although my set downs have now seem to gotten worse, its almost like I made a trade off LOL

Why ? have you asked your instructor ? Are your setdown inputs the reverse of you pickup inputs, all other things being equal ? How fast are your pickups ? The speed of your pickup will be a good indicator of how good your setdowns and slope landings will be.

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